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The Sunday Opera: Offenbach's 'The Tales of Hoffmann' from the Vienna State Opera

We continue with the Vienna State Opera for this week’s Sunday Opera (6/7 3:00 p.m.) and Jacques Offenbach’s tale of lost loves, “The Tales of Hoffmann.”  While Hoffmann regales the students in Luther’s Tavern with tales of his three loves, the automaton Olympia, the courtesan who steals reflections, Giuletta, and the doomed Antonia, the most recent of his nemeses, Lindorf, sees that he grows increasingly drunk so that when his recent love, the opera singer Stella, arrives, he is in a drunken sleep.  

In this performance, Hoffmann is Dmitry Korchak, all of the loves in his life, Stella, Olympia, Giulietta, and Antonia, are sung by Olga Peretyatko.  All of Hoffmann’s nemises, Lindorf, Coppelius, Miracle, and Dapertutto are sung by Luca Pisaroni, and Michael Laurenz performs the roles of all of the henchmen, Andres, Cochenille, Frantz, and Pitichinaccio.  Also contributing to Hoffmann’s woes is his Muse who is trying to make sure that he foregoes romance to dedicate himself to his art.  The Muse also appears as Hoffmann’s companion Nicklausse and is performed by Gaelle Arquez.   The Vienna State Opera Chorus and Orchestra are conducted by Frederic Chaslin.  

Stay with the Sunday Opera afterwards for more music of Offenbach when host Michael Kownacky will bring you a complete performance of Gaite Parisienne, a ballet cobbled together by Manuel Rosenthal from themes from Offenbach’s operettas, and music from Offenbach’s operetta “Le Voyage dans la Lune” (“The Trip to the Moon”) including the overture and the “Ballet of the Snowflakes.”

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.